Psycho Cooker

Recipes + Travels + Reviews


Oven-Roasted Chicken Shawarma

This recipe is a giant, delicious fake-out.  Considering this shawarma has “oven-roasted” in the recipe title, I am not trying to fool anyone; this is definitely a mock version of authentic chicken shawarma, which is a Middle Eastern style of cooking meat on a vertical spit.  Nonetheless, this recipe is a veritable flavor bomb, which happens to be easy to prepare, and fun to eat.  It is simply marinated boneless skinless chicken thighs that are roasted in a very hot oven, and served with various accompaniments. The flavor-packed marinade is the key to success.  I used the recipe from New […]

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Stuffed Calamari

I don’t have a ton of experience cooking calamari, but I know there are two cooking styles that yield a tender texture: cook it quickly over high heat (like flash frying), or cook it for a long time over low heat.  Well, that is what I have read; I’ve tried the first approach before, and the result was pretty rubbery.  So, when I found this recipe for stuffed calamari, simmered in tomato sauce, I was a bit skeptical.  Nonetheless, the recipe sounded too interesting to pass; I took my chances, and was pleasantly surprised. This recipe is made by stuffing […]

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Garlicky Chicken with Lemon-Anchovy Sauce

You think you don’t like anchovies, but you’re wrong.  Perhaps you are averse to popping a whole, pungent, furry little fish in your mouth (those are actually tiny edible bones).  That texture isn’t for everyone, but on the other hand, those little suckers will dissolve when cooked in oil, and they can lend an unparalleled depth of flavor to the backbone of a dish.  You can even purchase anchovy paste, and that dissolving work is essentially already complete.  That’s exactly what I used in this dish, and I love the edge of complexity the anchovy paste can add to a […]

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Stuffed Peppers

Unlike the typical 9 to 5 job, I work 4-10 hour days.  The days are undeniably long, but a weekly 3-day weekend more than makes up for my intense workweek.  It’s like a weekly mini-vacation.  My favorite part of my three-day weekend is Sunday.  Not working on Mondays, Sunday has been transformed from a somber, stressful affair, focused on preparing for the workweek, into a relaxing and delightful day.  I spend most of my Sunday evenings hunkered down at a good friend’s house in Denver, sipping vodka, eating antipasto, and verbally dissecting the world at large.  Our Sunday meal is […]

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Simple Mushroom Pasta

If you read my last post, it may not be surprising that I am in the process of achieving a higher degree of balance in my life.  Over the past few months, I have been wobbling.  So much of my energy has been expelled outward, away from me, and I am now trying to redirect some of that energy back towards myself.  Both my professional and personal life just went through a swift, yet dramatic restructuring, and I am interpreting this is a sign to get back to my roots, and the things that make me tick.  This weekend, I […]

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Roasted Broccoli

Oh, hello there, blog.  Remember me?  I’ve been a little swamped lately with my new job.  It’s a lame excuse, but it is sadly a presiding truth in my life.  I work in the public schools, and the rumors are true:  education is in trouble.  I truly love working with my kids, but the politics, the paperwork, and the special ed laws are weighing me down.  Sigh.  Now that I’ve had my pity party, I will share you with a little ray of light I discovered today.  This morning I realized that maybe I’m feeling weighed down because I have […]

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Minestone

I handle periods of transition with the finesse of a baby tolerating a dirty diaper.  Under the best circumstances, I squirm and make faces to reflect my discomfort.  I may whine a little bit.  Depending on the severity of the situation, I feel compelled to burst into tears.  One would hope that my tolerance for change would increase with experience; this does not seem to be the case.  Under my critical observation, my improvements seem to be occurring at a rate that does not allow for functional changes.  Currently, I am transitioning from the role of “life-long-student,” into the vastly […]

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Pot Roast

I have never made or eaten a pot roast in my life.  Until Sunday.  Most cultures have some sort of dish that involves a cheap, tough cut of meat cooked over a low heat for a long period of time.  For example, Jews have brisket.  This may be done differently in every Jewish family and deli, but over all, we do brisket.  Pot roast was a slightly foreign subject to me, although it turns out, it’s similar in preparation:  Brown it, cook it in liquid with aromatic vegetables, and cook it for a long period of time.  Last weekend, my […]

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Acting Out

Finals are horrible.  Even though they will be over in two weeks, it feels like an eternity.  I recommend keeping a safe distance from me until then, because I am beyond irritable.  I had to get gas today, which seemed like the world’s biggest inconvenience.  My car was at about an eighth of a tank.  Even though I drive an average of a mile and a half a day, it seemed like a good idea to fill up because here in Boulder the thermometers are ringing in at near record low temperatures.  It’s supposed to be about five degrees tonight.  […]

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Penne and Broccoli

Penne and broccoli is one of the simplest and most satisfying dishes in my repertoire.  Generally, the only thing I may have to purchase in order to make this meal a reality is a broccoli crown.  It is “pantry cooking” at its finest.  I have yet again to offer thanks to Marc Bittman* for dish, although my preparation includes a few crucial variations from his original recipe.  I started making this when I was first learning to cook, and it was because of this dish that I began speculating about flavor combinations and what it meant to alter a recipe […]

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